WORCESTER, Mass. (A.W.)—The newly established Worcester chapter of the Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural and Educational Society is sponsoring a free concert featuring singer-songwriter Hooshere, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First Armenian Republic and the 90th anniversary of Hamazkayin.
The concert will be held at Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church of Worcester at 2 p.m. and refreshments will be served following the performance.
Born and raised in New York City, Hooshere is a first generation Armenian-American whose connection to her heritage, coupled with her passion for music, has molded her into a very unique musician.
“Provenance,” Hooshere’s debut album, is a modern day presentation of songs from times past; while remaining true to the origins of the music, Hooshere infused these songs with completely new sounds and rhythms—breathing new life into the music of her Armenian ancestors. The album is not limited to revivals—there are three original tracks, written by Hooshere; two of which, with English lyrics, are particularly well poised for a broad and diversified audience.
Since the release of “Provenance,” Hooshere has been performing regularly on both the east and west coasts, and has been working on several diverse music/film projects in New York. She recently released a new EP entitled “So Far Away” featuring five all new, original songs. It’s an evolution of her sound, and a culmination of her creative and personal journey since the release of her first record. A bit of a departure from Provenance, the songs are predominantly in English, yet they still maintain Hooshere’s unique electronica/trip-hop/rock sound, infused with her signature Armenian/Middle Eastern vibe.
Members of the Worcester Armenian community came together on June 14, 2017, to establish the Hamazkayin chapter. The chapter’s founding meeting was held at the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, where the June 16 concert is scheduled to take place.
Welcoming the chapter’s establishment, Hamazkayin Eastern Region U.S. Executive Committee Chair Arevik Caprielian stressed the role of Hamazkayin in preserving and nurturing Armenian cultural heritage.
“The remarkably prescient founders of Hamazkayin foresaw the danger of cultural assimilation of Armenians in Diaspora as early as in 1928. The establishment of a new chapter in Worcester is both a confirmation of the necessity of Hamazkayin’s activities within the Armenian community and a befitting occurrence in this year of Hamazkayin’s 90th anniversary,” Caprielian said at the time of the chapter’s foudning. “What better way to celebrate the jubilee than to add a new chapter to Hamazkayin’s worldwide network. All members of the Eastern Regional Executive Committee are delighted to welcome the Worcester chapter into our family.”
Hamazkayin aims to nurture and promote Armenian arts and culture by supporting educational and cultural initiatives in Armenian communities worldwide.
“Now is a great time for us to start a Hamazkayin chapter here in Worcester. In many different ways it will engage our youth members, whether through dance, music, or other cultural means,” said filmmaker Talin Avakian at the time of the chapter’s founding. Avakian is a local community member and one of the founding members of the chapter.
“I know a lot of us have been craving a cultural revival in our community, and we haven’t always known how to go about it. This chapter will allow for future generations to have a place to celebrate, learn, and have a better understanding of who we are as a people,” Avakian added.
The Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishyan was present at the founding meeting. Hamazkayin Eastern Region Executive Committee member Nanore Barsoumian represented the Regional Executive board at the meeting.
“The Armenian presence in Worcester has a long history, and the new Hamazkayin chapter will play a leading role in expanding the offering of diverse Armenian cultural events,” said George Aghjayan, who, in addition to being an active member of the Worcester community and a founding member of the Hamazkayin chapter, also serves as the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern U.S. Central Committee chair.
Worcester is the ninth chapter of the organization on the East Coast, joining sister chapters in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, and Washington D.C. Last month, the chapter held it’s inaugural event, the Worcester Armenian Film Festival.
If you live in or near Worcester and you are interested in joining the newly formed Worcester Hamazkayin chapter, or to find out more about it, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about the Hamazkayin Eastern Region, visit hamazkayin-usa.org.